How To Increase Growth and Productivity Within Your Event Business
Face-to-face business events contribute a total gross domestic product impact of $1.5 trillion, along with $2.5 trillion in sales, and nearly 26 million jobs every year. We know there is room to grow in every sector of our industry and for that, we are lucky!
However, while the event industry’s upward trend over the last decade has made grow a favorite word, so much has changed in the overall event landscape in recent years which can make maintaining similar growth levels more difficult if we aren’t careful.
So, how do we approach certain hurdles to increase growth and productivity within our event businesses? Here are some ideas to focus on:
1. Time is Money
Although we hear it over and over again, it’s worth stating….again. Time should always be invested wisely.
As Bob Priest-Heck, president and chief operating officer at The Freeman Company, and chief executive officer of Freeman, so eloquently said in this article, we need to consider our impact on others. “Are we respectful of their time, or are we in the habit of grabbing as much as we can get?” He goes on to suggest that we need to design events and experiences in a way that makes the most of the time we’re asking guests to invest. His advice for us: “we must design events to purge all the things that waste time: long lines, poor directional signage, pointless general sessions, etc. By respecting people’s time — by making each moment count — we give them more of what they prize most. And that builds loyalty.”
It’s also critical that we learn how to best use our time (and our clients’ time) to increase productivity. There is an abundance of time-saving tools available today that help to make us more efficient, and thus, more productive. Some of our favorites include apps and tools are SLACK, TRELLO, Dropbox, Google Docs, Skype, Roberform and Expensify. These platforms help our team to operate efficiently and effectively.
Amy Abbott of Amy Abbott Events recommends incorporating more online collaborative experiences to help avoid the constant back-and-forth of email communication. “Clients are so inundated with emails every day that they are asking for the use of more shared documents where you can edit, leave comments, share checklists and keep up to date in real-time.”
2. Plan Ahead
We create spectacular events for our clients, but behind the scenes, our day-to-day can often be messy and convoluted. Putting those planning skills to use on yourself can be a game-changer when it comes to productivity.
Shannon Tarrant, Founder of Wedding Venue Map suggests reviewing all your to-dos daily and identifying the most critical as you plan your time. “At the end of each day, I make a list of the 3 things that I have to accomplish the next day. Of course, my to-do list is much longer than three items. I make sure there is time blocked in my schedule to accomplish those important tasks first.”
This means every day, even in the busy season. Emily Sullivan of Emily Sullivan Events strongly advises making time for your to-do list. “Don’t let the busy season get the best of you. Still take a day to work “on” your business and take care of necessary things and make adjustments. It’s not fun to catch up when you’ve let things go for a couple of months.”
The great news about managing your to-do list is that technology can help you! This is where Trello comes into play again or use of the personal assistant tool, 24Me can be beneficial. Organize tasks, to-do lists or notes – in one digital location.The more you allow yourself to get used to using tech, the more productive you will become with your time thereby increasing productivity in the process.
3. Stand Out From Competition
Traditional ads are out. Digital ads are blocked and cluttered.
Live events and experiential activations cut through the noise and offer brand marketers and for-profit organizations the chance to communicate in meaningful ways that resonate with their consumers.
To stay successful in the increasingly competitive face-to-face space, event planning companies need to strategically position and communicate the event’s unique value. What can you do to stand out from competition? How can you adapt and evolve your practices and offerings to be a step ahead of the curve? What can you do as an event business to be forward-thinking? These are questions to ask yourself as you look to make an impact on prospective clients and stand out from the rest of the event of the companies they may be considering for their events.
4. Global Village
Thanks in large part to social media and the continued rise in the use of digital technologies, people are communicating and interacting with those around the globe like never seen before. The event industry has a unique opportunity and challenge to expand their reach and work in new markets. As global boundaries continue to shrink, event companies need to embrace cross-cultural awareness and competency in order to effectively interact and work with those from around the world.
To increase productivity and ability to seamlessly work together across the globe and cultures, keep these examples in mind:
- Considering different dietary preferences and restrictions – and designing food and beverage menus to accommodate a wide range of needs
- Offering information and communications in different languages
- Designing events within the overall event to encourage networking, sharing and learning among different attendee groups
- Using digital planning tools to effectively collaborate on planning details without the need for on-site and in-person meetings.
5. Closely Monitor Progress
In business, you get the best results when you monitor your progress, challenges, and opportunities regularly, no matter how little time you have. Setting aside time to dive into your business and monitor your progress is an effective approach to identifying areas where you can increase productivity. “I believe in doing a business yearly audit,” says Ashley Stork, Owner & Planning Expert. “There are things that need to be evaluated on a yearly basis in your business, clean up type of tasks that need to be tended to, goal setting and mapping out the year. I personally like doing a work retreat by myself to do this.”
Each business has its own unique challenges. Diving into analyses can be daunting, but it will be one of the most rewarding projects to identify the best opportunities to increase productivity and growth within your business.
6. Embrace Technology
If the rest of this article hasn’t already made the importance of embracing technology clear, Tom Pick, digital marketing consultant at G2Planet wrote, “technology is indispensable for modern event management, from registration to sound and lighting, digital displays, interactive games, security, data collection, social media engagement, and collecting attendee feedback.” Event technology is not only here to stay, but a main critical component to increasing productivity in every aspect of a business.
Whether it includes digital planning tools that enable better communication and manage the operations and logistics or cutting-edge VR-walkthroughs that reduce the number of physical site visits required, technology is a resource that fosters growth. Take advantage of how new technologies can expand and propel your business to new heights.
If growth and productivity are on your list of your 2020 goals, talk to the Allseated team about the benefits of embracing our technology tools to support your event planning process.